(803) 419-5512

220 Business Park Blvd, Columbia, SC 29203, USA

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MEET THE FACULTY

Award Winning Internationally Trained Professionals

HILLARY KRIEGER - TOTH

Hillary Krieger-Toth has over 25 years of classical ballet experience. She began her dance training at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, studying under the expert guidance of well-respected dance instructors such as: John Magnus, Eleanor D'Antuono, and Francesca Corkle. Her training continued at the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah, one of the country's leading ballet programs, with highly esteemed instructors such as: Conrad Ludlow, Attila Ficzere, Bene Arnold, Sharee Lane, Maureen Laird, and Richard Wacko. Krieger has attended numerous summer dance programs including: Boston Ballet, BalletMet, and the Joffrey Summer Workshop in San Antonio, Texas. Following graduation, Krieger-Toth continued her training at the Greensboro Ballet Company as a professional dancer and full-time instructor, after which she then lent her expertise to Columbia Classical Ballet for two years as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Krieger-Toth is completely trained in the Cecchetti, Vaganova, and French styles of classical ballet, as well as in diverse styles of modern and international character folk dance. She is also a certified Pilates matt instructor. Krieger - Toth has participated in numerous public outreach activities including teaching ballet classes for an after-hours school program. She has performed in local venues all over Columbia.

GABOR TOTH

Gabor Toth, Co - Owner, Co - Artistic Director, Founder of SSB began his formal dance training at the world-renowned Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Toth is trained extensively in the arts of ballet, folk dance, acrobatics, stage dance, acting, historical dance, pantomime, partnering, and contemporary dance. Upon graduation, he was awarded a scholarship to the School of Alicia Alonso in Madrid, Spain, where he received instruction in Spanish folk dance and classical ballet. Following this, Toth made his American debut as an intern with the Greensboro Ballet Company, where he perfected his knowledge of American techniques, styles, and choreography. Toth has utilized his extensive knowledge of movement with some of the most accomplished dance companies in the world, including: Music World, a national dance festival and competition in Fivizzano, Italy; performances in "Majismo" and "El Gran Baile" in Madrid, Spain; as well as in "AIDA" in Budapest, Hungary. In spring 2000, he came to Carolina Ballet to be in the premiere productions of Lynne Taylor-Corbetts Cabaret. Lynne Taylor-Corbett is known for her work in theatre, ballet and film. She was nominated for Tony Awards for her direction and choreography of Broadways Swing! and for two American Theatre Wing Star Awards for its National Tour. She choreographed Chess and Titanic on Broadway and the feature films Footloose, My Blue Heaven and Vanilla Sky. Her ballets have been commissioned by New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet. Toth's experience includes professional productions of both contemporary and classical ballets. During his two-year stay as a dancer and instructor at Columbia Classical Ballet, Toth played a vital role in choreographing dance sequences for "The Nutcracker", "Jekyll and Hyde", and "Lifechance".

TERRANCE HENDERSON

Modern, Theatre Terrance is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Vibrations Dance Company-South Carolinas premier contemporary multi-ethnic dance company. Terrance is Director of the modern Program at Southeastern school of Ballet. He is also on faculty at Columbia Ballet School and is the Artist-in Residence at Logan Elementary School where he has been teaching dance and theater for over 10 years. Terrance received the Bronze Leo Award at the 2009 Jazz Dance World Congress for Outstanding Jazz Choreography, was the 2009 Artist Fellowship recipient in Dance Performance, was chosen in 2005 as one the states Tope 10 Artists under age 30, and has twice been nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner (SC Governors Award) for the Arts. While Terrance was still a student at USC, his choreography caught the eye of the late Fernando Bujones, who invited him to set one of his most requested solos, "That's Life" on dancers in the Orlando Ballet. A solo choreographed by Terrance for dancer Brooklyn Mack, received an award for Outstanding Contemporary Choreography at the 2004 Youth Grand Prix. Terrance is also a member of the TRUSTUS theater company and does choreography for theaters, school, and professional companies across the country.

AMY SHIVAR

Amy Shivar has studied ballet, jazz, tap, liturgical and modern dance for most of her life. As a student, she trained in the Cecchetti and Vaganova methods of ballet, danced in a civic ballet company for six years, attended summer intensives, and performed extensively. While in college, Amy performed with the UNC-G Dance Company and the theatre department in musicals, operas, and short works by faculty and students, receiving a BFA in Dance Performance from UNC-Greensboro in 1991. She spent 1993-94 studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Following college, Amy appeared in a variety of ballets and musicals, and choreographed numerous pieces and shows. In 1996 she began study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, receiving a MA in Intercultural Studies in 2000. Currently, Amy is a certified member of Cecchetti USA where she serves on the East Coast Committee as recording secretary and Assistant to the Head Chaperone. Through CUSA, Amy has submitted numerous students for examination by a national examiner. She has been teaching in South Carolina since 2004, and has been on faculty of the SC Baptist Creative Ministries Festival for many years. As a teacher, Amy seeks to impart the love of classical ballet and other disciplines to her students through thorough training, enthusiasm, and dedication.

KIYOMI MERCADANTE RAMIREZ

Kiyomi has been a dance educator for over twenty years and was a professional dancer for over fifteen years. Kiyomi has an Associate’s Degree in Theatre, Film, Radio and Television, and plans to continue working towards a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Dance, while continuing to inspire the best of her students.In 2017 Kiyomi earned her “Fellow member” to the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA), a position she shares with roughly fifty colleagues across The United States.  “The Cecchetti Council of America is an organization dedicated to maintaining the standards and method of ballet training established by Cav. Enrico Cecchetti”. Kiyomi excelled in all of her teacher examinations with the CCA.  She received high marks in Grades I through VII and accomplished all of this in only four and a half years of study. She is working towards the last two examinations for joining the ranks of Diploma Fellow in the Cecchetti Council of America. Kiyomi was an Adjunct Faculty Member and Rehearsal Director with the University of South Carolina Dance Department, from 2011 through 2015; and was Artistic Director of Dallas Dance Company from 2009 through 2011.Kiyomi’s fifteen plus years of professional dance include Ballet Dallas, The Dallas Opera, The Richmond Ballet, Ballet Austin, Dallas Summer Musicals, Rasa Dance Chicago, Dallas Dance Company, The South Carolina Philharmonic, and more. When the opportunity arises, Kiyomi continues to make guest appearances.  Kiyomi instructs and choreographs ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, pointe work and classical variations. She began instructing at the School of the Richmond Ballet and continued to grow professionally with Dallas Black Dance Theater, The Messengers of the Dawn Dallas-Bahá’í Youth Workshop, The Dance Center, The Dance Factory, Dance Dimensions Incorporated, Beyond Belief Dance Academy, Academy of Dance Arts-TX, Columbia City Jazz, The Southern Strutt, UofSC Conservatory of Dance, Dothan School of Dance, and Enterprise School of Dance.  She is enthusiastic to join the staff of Southeastern School of Ballet and looks forward to the upcoming school year.Kiyomi’s students have received dance scholarships into The Juilliard School, the Alvin Ailey Fordham Program, Texas Woman’s University, Butler University, Point Park University, Southern Methodist University, Arizona University, and various summer dance programs. Many of her students have performed in commercials, music videos, films, worked with Disney, Busch Gardens, Six Flags Over America, Mary Kay, and several are currently performing on Broadway.Kiyomi is happily married to her former dance partner, Eduardo Ramirez, and together they have four beautiful children. Kiyomi shares her personal love and passion for dance and knows that she will stop dancing when she stops breathing.

Brailey Johnson

Brailey Johnson started her dance career as a Dutch Fork High School Dazzler in 2011.  She instantly fell in love with movement, and continued exploring her movement in college as a dance minor at the University of South Carolina, where she performed in various choreography showcases.  Brailey was a founding member of Icono/clash Dance Collaborative in 2014.  Since then, Brailey has taught and performed with various companies in South Carolina, including Fuse Artist Alliance,Moving Body Dance Company, Power Company Collaborative, and Vaughn Newman Dance. She also choreographs under Brailey Jo and Co. 

GUEST TEACHERS

SABI VARGA

Szabolcs (Sabi) Varga received his training at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. In 1997 he was named "Best Young Dancer" at the International Rudolf Nureyev Competition. Upon graduation he joined Alberta Ballet under the direction of Mikko Nissinen. There he performed principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon. In 2002 Nissinen invited Varga to join Boston Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to second soloist in 2004 and to soloist in 2006. His repertoire with the Company includes Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake (von Rothbart) and The Nutcracker (all principal male roles), Rudi van Dantzig's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (Espada), Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias (Gustave), Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and Lambarena, Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), Jorma Elo's Plan to B, Carmen (Escamillo), In on Blue, Le Sacre du Printemps, George Balanchine's Duo Concertant and Serenade, Helen Pickett's Etesian, Lucinda Childs' Ten Part Suite, Mark Morris' Up and Down, David Dawson's The Grey Area, James Kudelka's Cinderella, Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, and Jiří Kylián's Sarabande, No More Play, Petite Mort, Sechs Tanze, Symphony of Psalms, and Bella Figura.

RYOSUKE OGURA

Ryosuke Ogura, from Japan, started his training at Sapporo City Ballet under Mika Ogura. In 2002 he competed in the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York City and received a scholarship to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, where he studied under Anatoli Kucheruk. In 2005 he received a scholarship to Harid Conservatory and studied under Oliver Pardina.  In 2007 he joined Milwaukee Ballet II and trained with Rolando Yanes, Mireille Favarel, Karl von Rabenau. In 2008 Ryosuke joined Atlantic City Ballet, under the direction of Phyllis Papa where he performed corps to Principal roles in Dracula, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. In 2010, he joined Columbia Classical Ballet, Artistic Director Radenko Pavlovich, and performed in The Wizard of Oz, Cabaret Night, The Nutcracker and The Hunchback. Now in his seventh season with City Ballet of San Diego, Ryosuke has performed the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, The Seasons, Carmina Burana, C-Squared, Requiem, the Gypsy King in Don Quixote, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda Variations, Bowed Piano, Esmeralda and the Hunchback, Carmen and Kaschei in The Firebird. In George Balanchine’s ballets, he has performed in Allegro Brillante, Serenade, Square Dance and the principal roles in Walpurgisnacht Ballet and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the company’s premiere of Peter Martins’ Ash

ATTILA BONGAR

Attila Bongar trained with the Hungarian Dance Academy. Upon graduation, he attended the Eurovision Ballet Competition in France and then joined the corps de ballet of the Hungarian National Ballet. In 2000, he joined Carolina Ballet where he danced for 12 seasons and was promoted to a principal dancer. In 2005, Mr. Bongar choreographed and staged his first ballet, The Miraculous Mandarin, to music by Bela Bartok. He later created additional company works including Choreocalligraphy, Guernica, Departed, and many more. Mr. Bongar has received grants from the New York Choreographic Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jerome Robbins Foundation. Aside from choreography and performance, he also enjoys tennis, classical music and cosmology. In 2014, Mr. Bongar co-produced the inaugural Dancing for the Cure, a charity event benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Columbus Symphony, BalletMet and guests artists from across the nation.

Deborah Madden  Zippel MS, RD, LD

Deborah is the Nutrition Consultant for the Southeastern School of Ballet. She is a registered/licensed dietitian with more than twenty years of sport nutrition, wellness, and eating disorder counseling experience. As a former collegiate athlete and a Division 1 university sport nutritionist, she understands the importance of diet for performance and is passionate about helping others develop a healthy relationship with food.  Deborah has served as an adjunct nutrition instructor and intern mentor at several universities during her career span.Deborah received her Master’s degree in Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness dietetic practice group and has been active on state and local dietetics boards.

EMILY ENTINGH

Emily Entingh trained in Southern California and at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. She danced with Houston Ballet II for two years before joining Boston Ballet's second company in 2012. She was promoted into Boston Ballet in 2014. This season she's danced featured roles in the company's Full on Forsythe program and most recently as one of Swanhilda's Friends in Coppélia.